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Dishonored brings Honor to E3

Developer: Arkane Studios | Publisher: Bethesda
Players: 1 Player Game | Genre: Action

Release Date: 10/09/12

Dishonored is a non-stop thrill ride and we had the chance to find out why in a live demo of the title shown behind closed doors during E3 2012. As the second part of the Bethesda presentation, Dishonored showed us stealth, assassinations, all out action, magical skills, and more over our time with the title. The best part is, unlike most other titles, this one will be in your hands this year!

Dishonored is a brand new IP and is from some of the minds that brought you the original Deus Ex. For those of you who have only played the newest Deus Ex title, the original is still thought of as one of the most magical and memorable gaming experiences ever made. People who worked on that title are seen as gaming gods and you should pay close attention to what they are working on.

The idea behind Dishonored was to create a game that looks like a moving painting. They wanted to give the game its own unique look and feel. To accomplish this they set out to create a living breathing world with backgrounds that subtlety draw you in to the point that you feel a part of the game world. 

To encourage heavy replayability, every playthrough in Dishonored will be a unique experience. Besides moving enemies around, the game will react differently to you depending on how you play. Are you going to jump in and take everyone out, making as much noise as possible? In Dishonored, you have that freedom. Tire of needless bloodshed and want to silent take out your targets? Dishonored will let you accomplish this with ease. The game is designed to be played either way in your quest for revenge on a death of a royal monarch.

Another way to encourage multiple playthroughs, and frustrate strategy guide makers, is to completely randomize the quest locations. Looking for a particular target you need to assassinate? He won't be in the same spot the next time you play. 

For the purposes of this live demo, we were played through an area twice: once with stealth and once with all-out action. To make things a little easier, and quicker, they also unlocked all abilities for this demo. 

The first ability we were shown in Dishonored is called Blink. This ability brings up an on-screen cursor that you move to warp to virtually any place on the screen. This is essential for reaching areas high up to get out of sight. Another cool thing about this ability is you can go take out an enemy, grab him, and use Blink to move the body with you out of sight. 

Another of the magical powers is called Possession. It allows you to take possession of animals and people. For the stealthy approach we were taking to get inside the "Golden Cat" building, we jumped into the water, possessing a fish before we splashed, and swam into a drainage pipe into the building. Bet you never possessed a fish in a stealth game before.

Yet another power we were given a glimpse of is Dark Vision. This gives us the power to see in the dark, through walls, and see a "cone of vision" to where the NPC's are looking at. Very helpful if you are trying to sneak past them or come up from behind and strike.

Missions logs, in Dishonored, can be updated in a variety of ways inside the world. One of the most interesting and realistic ways is the ability to spy and eavesdrop on NPCs around you, while you are hidden, to learn about locations of your targets. You could always search until you find out where to go but this gives a much better flow to the game.

While the use of all of these skills, and the others we weren't shown, are really cool, there is a cost associated with them. We weren't told how often or how you can recharge the use of skills because they were fully unlocked with unlimited use.

As we progressed through the halls of the Golden Cat, we found where one of our objectives were. We needed to get the owner of the Golden Cat to give up a key so we could freely explore the building. We looked into the keyhole and glanced around the room to see when she had her back to the door. Once she was in place, we quietly opened, came in, shut the door, and snuck up behind her. Killing her would be easy--but just pickpocketing the key would be much more fun. We took the key with ease and left the same way we came in.

Our first target, Lord Pendelton, was a bit deeper in the Golden Cat.we found him in a room where a steam valve fed into. Again, we could have just run in and killed him to get that portion of our mission done. Instead, we snuck around to turn on the steam valve and burn him to death. Isn't being sneaky fun?

With one Pendelton out of the way, his brother was left. We ran outside the building and climbed around the windows where he was having an argument with a lady. We used our Possession skill to take over his mind and had him walk out to where we were. His lady friend was quite puzzled. Once outside, we stopped possession of him and used a magical skill Wind Blast to blow him off the ledge. This made it look like he committed suicide and was much more enjoyable than simply killing him by normal means.

Now we face the same challenge the Brother Pendelton did. How can we get off a 5+ story building? Unlike other titles where heroes can take giant leaps of faith and land unharmed, you will die in Dishonored. But if you jump and take possession of someone or some animal before landing, you won't be harmed. Thus the solution to our problem was to take possession of a lady standing below. Thus the stealthy mission was over

The same level was loaded up again and we started up on a roof this time. You are able to take great jumps between roofs by using the Blink Spell. Once you arrive with a target below you, the drop assassination is a satisfying and bloody  way to cut up your foes and satisfy the action desire you have.  As you do damage and hurt enemies, a special finishing move comes available. Stabbing enemies through the neck is yet another gory way to end the life of a person in front of you.

In addition, another magical skill that causes rats to come up out of the grand is a satisfying way to see enemies run in fear and get eaten up by rodents. FYI, if any of you try to sick an army of rats on me, it won't be pretty.

When surrounded by several enemies, the Freezing Time skill can cause everything to stop for a bit. You can then hide from everyone or quickly shoot people in the head for a massive instant-deaths!

Towards the end of the demo, we were shown a new enemy type called tallboys. These are guards walking on tall metal legs. They pack a very nasty punch. To show off some of the puzzles that will appear in Dishonored, we saw possession of one of the Tallboys to get through a portion of the level we could never reach in our regular form. 

Sadly, this is where our demo time ended. We really could have seen much more of Dishonored played but fortunately we only have to wait until October 9, 2012 to see this game release on PC, PlayStation 3, and Xbox 360. Trust me, this is one title you are going to want to have.

By Kaleb Rutherford - 06/09/12

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